I feel like American Airlines (AA) must have been reading my mind because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making the big switch to United or Delta. The main reason is because my Executive Platinum elite status on AA was destined to come to an end. Once you hold top tier status, you know it’s difficult to give it up. Those extra perks like free upgrades, free premium coach seat assignments, dedicated phone and check-in lines, boarding early … really makes travel so much more enjoyable and cheaper.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that every year, January 1 makes elite members gulp when they see their progress towards elite status go from something astronomical to zero. That’s because January 1 is when the airlines clear the slate and every member has to start earning again from scratch. That’s also the day I start to constantly think, ‘how the heck am I going to requalify?’
This is the first year I actually gave up on requalifying because money has been so tight, marketing budgets have been cut and there just isn’t much business travel taking place. I doubt there will be much until at least September. And even that’s most likely a dream. What I’m hearing is that most companies will have their employees first return to their offices in September to see how that goes, then hit the road slowly until early 2022. One of the main reasons is liability.
My liability for losing my status is explaining to my wife why she can no longer zip through lines, sit in the bulkhead and check a 65 pound bag LOL. FYI: Executive Platinums and everyone on their itinerary get up to three checked, 70-pound bags for free. Travelers with no status have to pay $30 for their first checked bag and $100 if it’s over 50 pounds.
My wife and I never checked bags when we traveled together but once we had little kids, everything changed. These little munchkins mess up their clothes faster than the moon changes phases and they can’t carry their own stuff so we always have to be prepared. Hopefully, that will change in a few years.
Regardless, our game plan is still to pack light so we just check one large suitcase for all four of us and that’s it – my wife is a genius packer. It reduces the chances of the airline losing our bag and allows us to take different modes of transportation. Here are 8 ways to make sure an airline doesn’t lose your bag … and that you don’t get robbed or stalked.
My backup plan was to get either Delta or United to match my status before the year ended so I could get another year of perks. But American Airlines just pleasantly surprised frequent fliers this morning with an email offering two ways to retain your elite status through January 2023. Almost always when an airline is offering you ways to retain your status it’s a ripoff but this time, it’s totally fair. Shocking, I know. So here’s how American Airlines is keeping me and thousands of others as customers for another year.
Spend $15,000 on an AAdvantage credit card
Use an eligible AAdvantage credit card to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases between July 15 – November 15, 2021, and you’ll retain the elite status you held on January 1, 2021.
Fly on American or one of our partner airlines
Fly and earn $2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) on eligible airline tickets flown between September 1 – December 31, 2021, and you’ll retain the elite status you held on January 1, 2021.
I was surprised it begins in September and not now. I was going to use my big credit that I had from last year for a flight next week but now I will use miles for that flight and use the credit after September 1st. But it looks like I will be Executive Platinum through 2023.
Keep in mind, this is only to retain your status and not to qualify for new status. If you requalify this way, you will not be given the four system-wide upgrades as in years past. Overall, I’m elated with this news and my wife will be too 😉.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.